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The (W)rap Up - Week Of May 11, 2010
Posted by Emanuel Wallace at Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 at 12:00AM :: Email this article :: Print this article

Trina :: Amazin'
Slip-N-Slide Records/EMI
Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon

"It should come as no surprise then that Trina is a little smug on her 2010 album "Amazin'," and arguably has a right to be. She's been compared to Lil' Kim her whole career, but has actually released more albums in a shorter amount of time. Khia tried to upstage them both as the most sexually explicit female in the game only to get kicked to the curb. Even now other women are trying to prove they are "Da Baddest Bitch" in hip-hop, but Trina coined the title a decade ago and has never relinquished it. In fact Trina has become something of a standard bearer for commercially active female rappers, as veterans like Latifah and more recent successes like Eve gave up the mic for acting careers."

Blacastan :: Blac Sabbath :: Brick Records
as reviewed by Pete T.

"A few summers ago I was at a rap show at Toad's Place in New Haven. It was a sweltering summer night and the venue was packed from wall to wall such that my boy couldn't even tiptoe his way to the bathroom. Anticipation was high for the A-list headliners, but an hour or so after the opening act had been booed off the stage the crowd was even more restless, demanding entertainment long after the advertised stage time. After some sort of commotion toward the front of the crowd, a dark heavyset man appeared to wrestle the mic from the MC, hopped onto the stage, and broke into a gruff barrage of rugged a cappella rhymes."

Deathrow Tull :: Little Taste EP ::
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Twelve years ago underground rapper Dyalekt met RR staffer Adam B. Three years ago Dyalekt debuted his one-man hip-hop THEATER show called "Square Peg Syndrome." As fascinating as his concept was, the RR audience wasn't quite ready for what D had to offer yet (or vice versa) and B had already turned in three interviews that month SO his feature on Dyalekt became an Adam's World exclusive. Time has passed, Dyalekt's sound has advanced, and now he's got a partner by the name of brokeMC to help him bring his vision to the masses. Still what's an up-and-coming rapper who can't get a CD onto retail shelves at Best Buy and Target to do?"

Dela :: Changes of Atmosphere :: Drink Water Music
as reviewed by Pete T.

"What does it take for a French artist to win over hip hop's best and brightest? Well, I can't say for sure, but logic tells me that anyone from the land of croissants, berets, and escargot would have to be pretty darn good to earn cosigns from the street-conscious stateside rappers. In the past, artists who made the jump from French to American audiences did so by bypassing the street readiness of most mainstream hip hop and focusing on more mature, tasteful elements and jazz and soul orientations. In the ‘90s, MC Solaar gained a North American following after his appearances on Guru's "Jazzmatazz," and bilingual rapper Lucien turned heads with his appearances on albums by alternative-minded acts such as Jungle Brothers and the Beatnuts."

Joe Gibbs :: 12" Reggae Discomix Showcase Vol. 4 :: VP Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"I'm slightly mystified as to why VP Records would choose to start us off with "Volume 4" of the songs Joe Gibbs had a hand in as opposed to 1, 2 or 3. I'm also puzzled as to why VP simply doesn't issue a boxset with all of the Gibbs hits collected together at once, as opposed to doling them out on one "Discomix" at a time. Most puzzling of all is why one can search for Joe Gibbs on the VP website and get no hits back from their discography. While Gibbs may not have partnered with VP until late in his life, they clearly have unlimited access to his archive of hits and the ability to pay any royalties from their sale to his heirs. It seems to me that shining a better spotlight on the legacy of Joe Gibbs is in order. "

IDE and Skavenger :: Addicted to the Vision :: Creative Juices Music
as reviewed by Susan 'susiQ' Kim

"IDE and Skavenger boast a massive twenty-three tracks in "Addicted to the Vision" as they provide a little something for everyone. However, the team seems to excel in funk beats as they successfully execute the incorporation of soul, jazz, and R&B throughout their tracks. The production on "Throw Your Hands Up" featuring Respect and Ambush brings you back to the funk era with an electric bass being strummed to a simple beat as tambourines faintly sound in the background. "

Junk Science :: A Miraculous Kind of Machine :: Modern Shark
as reviewed by Patrick Taylor

"The Def Jux connection is pretty apparent in Baje One's rapping. He sounds like El-P's younger, happy-go-lucky brother. Their voices sound similar, and on Baje One's more intense moments, like "Running Shoes," he could be mistaking for El Producto himself. However, where El-P seems weighted down by the weight of the world, Baje One is more positive and upbeat. He even went out of his way to make sure there was no cursing on the album. Baje One's partner in crime is DJ Snafu, who handles all the production on the album. He describes his style as lo-fi, which is pretty dead on."

Kidz in the Hall :: Land of Make Believe :: Duck Down Records
as reviewed by Louis 'Delicate Beats' Cloutier

"The group's most recent album "Land of Make Believe" was released on March 2010. When I saw the cover art, I knew instantly I had a unique product in my hands. All of the songs share a distinctive core sound due to Double-Os production. His company is called "Space.Aged.Gorilla.Funk" and this name describes his style perfectly. On Kidz in the Hall's latest, he creates a bundle of funky up tempo songs with spacy synths and quirky rhythms. While I have mostly praise for Double-O's distinctive approach and consistence, his production is what keeps this LP from being a home run."

Sadat X :: Wild Cowboys II :: Fat Beats Records
as reviewed by Matt Jost

"Oh no he didn't. Tell me Sadat X didn't jump on the sequel bandwagon just to peddle his most recent recordings to his few faithfuls, rushed it out to a willing manufacturer who put out a horribly mastered product that in no way can compare to "Wild Cowboys." The first impression and subsequent listens suggest he did. For the promisingly titled opener "Return of the Bang Bang" he teams up with "Generation X" collaborator Will Tell (of Brooklyn Academy) for a dub-inspired caper that incorporates non-rap quotes in clever fashion. But despite the interesting set-up the track is simply unlistenable due to the bad sound quality. "

Sway :: The Delivery :: Dcypha Records/Konvict
as reviewed by Jesal 'Jay Soul' Padania

"Thinking back on that now legendary Jay Electronica gig at the Jazz Cafe in London – a night that I was fortunate enough to have attended – there was a warm up act, Sway. And he looked, frankly, a bit miserable, huffy and, dare we say it, resentful. Why? Well, Jay Electronica, a man that hasn't even officially released a mixtape, let alone an album, had a bunch of British lads (for they were ALL lads, of course) rapping along with most of his songs, in the palm of his hands and completely enthralled. Sway looked close to having his "On the Waterfront" moment."

Twin Perils :: Word Supremacy :: Holographic Pagoda Recordings
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Albums about war, conflict and violence raise your adrenaline level. Nothing beats a good M.O.P. or Jedi Mind Tricks release in that regard. You feel the beats assault you, the lyrical ammunition spraying your ears, and it creates an uncontrollable headnodding response. The more passionate and angry the vocal delivery gets, the more you feel it. Sometimes the artist can even get away with a silly or nonsensical rhyme just off the emotional intensity and increased decibel level. The feeling leaves you wanting to go on a rampage like Reggie Noble in the "Time 4 Sum Aksion" video. Thankfully you don't have to because the music is a vicarious trip through the light fantastic - you get the surge of energy from the high octane beats and rhymes and translate that rush any way you like. It's a pure rap shot of cappuccino. "

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